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Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

What is it That Most Distracts Us? You Don’t Have to Look Very Far!

We usually think of distractions or interruptions as coming form the world around us. But is that really the most common source? Consider the following parable drawn from the stories of the early Desert Fathers and from monastic experience: Sometimes there would be a rush of noisy visitors and the silence of the monastery would be […] Read the rest of this entry »

A Summons to Courage in the Battle: A Meditation Based on a Sermon of St. Bernard

Those who would preach or lead in the Church must have great courage, for though we preach a gospel that contains consoling messages, it also contains much that is contrary to the directions and desires of popular culture and human sinfulness. And thus it is true that every preacher who would preach the gospel of […] Read the rest of this entry »

On My New Book and a Couple of Thoughts on the Moral Life

I am the proud father of a new book entitled simply The Ten Commandments (see at right). And you’ll be surprised, knowing me, at how brief it is—just 104 pages. But I wanted to keep it short, readable, connected to the catechism, and very practically related to living the Commandments on a daily basis. You can get […] Read the rest of this entry »

What is Ecclesiology and Why is It So Important Today?

Many troubles today within the Church, and also among Christians in general, come down to a problem of mistaken or false ecclesiology. “Ecclesiology” refers to the nature of the Church. What is the Church? What is the fundamental mission of the Church? How essential is the Church in the life of every believer? What authority […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Call to Fraternal Correction – A Homily for the 23rd Sunday of the Year

We live in times in which there is a widespread notion that to correct sinners is to “judge” them. Never mind that it is sin that we judge, not the sinner.  Never mind that in accusing us of  judging, the worldly-minded are themselves doing the very judging they condemn. Never mind any of that; the […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Victorious Shout of the Lord – As Seen in a KIA Commercial

The Lord sometimes comes in unexpected ways and in unexpected packages. The Jews of Jesus’ time were expecting a Messiah who would ride in on a warhorse, and after a bath of blood, reestablish an earthly kingdom of David in all its glory with economic prosperity and military superiority. But Jesus defied their expectations and […] Read the rest of this entry »

What happened to the St. Patrick’s Parade Post?

Many of you have expressed concern about a blog post I wrote on the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which was removed. I am grateful for your concern about this and all the issues we discuss here. I removed the post upon further reflection due to the strong nature of the language I had used in parts […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Lord Must Follow the Preacher – A Reminder from St Gregory that the Message Depends on Jesus

Yesterday’s feast of St. Gregory provided rich reflections from the great Doctor of the Church. And I supplemented my readings as well by looking over some of his homilies. Frankly, St. Gregory the Great was tough on himself and on preachers and he spoke of the office in lofty and demanding terms. For example he taught, […] Read the rest of this entry »

Nominalism, not nerdy and coming at you whether you like it or not!

How have we gotten into this mess wherein we have set aside reality in favor of what we think reality is? No longer do we go out to meet reality and accept the obligation of conforming to reality; now we sit back and claim the right to posit our own reality, to project reality and […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Five Stages of Religious Persecution

I first wrote on the topic of religious persecution over two years ago and since then things have only gotten worse. Clearly the situation in Iraq is awful. But here in the U.S. as well, the threats against religious liberty have continued. Indeed, here in the States it is rare that a respected segment of American life would become […] Read the rest of this entry »

A Meditation on the Utter Absurdity of the Cross to a Hedonistic World

In Sunday’s Gospel the Lord sets forth the theology of the Cross and redemptive suffering. In so doing he sets forth a doctrine that is utter absurdity to this world. The indignation of the modern world against the Cross borders on outrage. Why is this? Simply put, hedonism. Hedonism is the worldly “doctrine” that pleasure […] Read the rest of this entry »

Every Round Goes Higher, Higher – A Homily for the 22nd Sunday of the Year

In today’s Gospel the Lord firmly sets before us the need for the Cross, not as an end in itself, but as the way to glory. Let’s consider the Gospel in three stages. I. The Pattern that is Announced – The text says, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem […] Read the rest of this entry »